Hosted Vermont’s 1st Citizens’ Assembly Info Session in City Hall
We organized a “Citizens’ Assembly Public Information Session” in Burlington City Hall. This was significant because it was Vermont’s first introduction to Citizens’ Assemblies. It was well attended by the community, as well as by 9 elected officials including Vermont’s Lieutenant Governor. It marked a big leap forward in opening statewide conversations about this initiative.
Published “The Trouble With Elections” and other Resources
In addition to launching our (Re)founding interview series, we also digitally published the new book from Terry Bouricius, The Trouble With Elections. Terry is a Vermont resident and is globally known as a citizens’ assembly theorist. His ideas influenced the historic formation of the World’s first modern standing citizens’ assembly in Belgium in 2019.
Established The Thought Club Discussion Group
We established Thought Club, a weekly discussion group that has met every Thursday since it’s founding over a year ago. It brings together people from all walks of life to learn about, deliberate on, and find common ground on a wide range of topics — somewhat like a mini citizens’ assembly.
Began Development of Assemble
We conceived and began developing Assemble, a tool that will help anyone understand, imagine, and ultimately implement citizens assemblies in their community. We are collaborating with several leading organizations in this field, and are continuing to involve more.
Joined Democracy R&D
We were accepted into the leading global network of relevant researchers, practitioners, and advocate organizations, Democracy R&D, which has given us access to the best minds in the world in this field.
Independently Obtained Full 501(c)(3) Status
We are proud to have completed all the necessary legal documents for our full 501(c)(3) designation relying only on our own research and help from volunteer advisors. We felt that completing the full Form 1023 ourselves — not the simpler Form 1023 EZ — would demonstrate our team’s competence and ability to complete complex projects.
Created a Beloved Community Space
When our first generous donor, Steve Conant, offered us a beautiful office space for free for three months while we figured out how to pay rent, we turned it into a communal space. This was done with no budget, by finding free furniture donations. Today, the space has grown into a beloved community work and event space that we share with numerous other civic-minded organizations and individuals.
Hosted Countless Art, Civic, & Community Events
Our space is a community hub that is host to numerous civic and cultural events every week, including writing and discussion groups, organizing meetings, art and poetry nights, movie screenings, and more. We believe fostering creativity and community is a vital part of our mission, as it opens people’s minds to new visions of the future. It also helps us make more people aware of our democracy innovation work, find new volunteers and collaborators, and generate goodwill within our community.